Saturday, May 5, 2012

Second thoughts on Sunscreen

Since I've started work on a farm for the summer, I'll be wearing lots of sunscreen every day!

Did you know that there are controversial issues surrounding sunscreen use?

The Environmental Working Group has put together a great site highlighting some of the studies and controversies about sunscreen ingredients and effectiveness.

After doing some research, the major points I've incorporated into my sunscreen habits are:

1. Avoid Vitamin A, also known as retinyl palmitate and retinol.
Studies have linked this ingredient to faster skin tumour and lesion development when it is applied to skin and exposed to sunlight.
2. Avoid oxybenzone and 4-MBC.
These chemicals are endocrine (hormone) disruptors.
3. Rely on clothing, hats and shade more than sunscreen to protect against skin cancer.
4. Choose a sunscreen with a good score on the EWG rating site.
You can search for your brand and see how it rates!

I started using Green Beaver (a company near Ottawa) sunscreen after I saw it on EWG's Best Of list. It's expensive, but rates really well. The sunscreen is certified organic, fragrance-free, with no nano particles (which are fairly new and lacks research into potential effects). I don't use it on my face as it doesn't really absorb and stays sticky for a long time. A solution for that might be their SPF 15 face cream, which I haven't tried.

I'm curious, have you heard about any of these issues regarding sunscreen?

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